Lucas Moura wrote himself into Tottenham folklore with last season’s Champions League semi-final heroics against Ajax. Ultimately, Spurs fell agonisingly short in their quest for the European crown, but their mild-mannered Brazilian isn’t done yet.

We caught up with Moura at the adidas Encryption Pack shoot to hear about how he fell in love with the game, the players that inspired him, and the differences between life in Paris and London. And, of course, his most defining moment in a Spurs shirt. 

Lucas, you’ve endeared yourself to fans around the world no matter what club they support, you come across as such a happy person. What does the game mean to you?

I’ve loved to play football since I was four or five years old, and it was always my dream to play professionally. When I play I want to show my passion and the talent that God gave me. I try to enjoy it every time.


Was there a moment where you fell in love with football?

I think it was my first ball. I think I was about five years old and my parents gave me a ball for Christmas. When I woke up I saw the ball under the tree and it was amazing. I played all day. Football is in my veins.

Were you the type of person who would have a football with them all the time?

Yes. When I was a child I was always playing on the street. Even with the guys older than me. Even when I was on my holidays I used to love to play. I played futsal. 

Did playing with the older guys give you the chance to show what you’re about and what you can do?

I was always the smallest in the group, and no one knew that I played football. When they saw me they would say “this guy, I don’t think he’ll play very well, I will not choose him.” And after, when the game started, I played and they said “Oh, he plays really well!” It made me stronger, because I was never afraid to play big guys.

Have you had times when you’ve gone back to Brazil and seen old faces and people that you used to play football against?

Well, I played with many many people in my life and I knew many friends, many of whom had great talent, so it’s difficult to see everyone, but I do meet some of my old friends that played with me when I’m in Brazil. It’s nice.


Who were the players that inspired you when you were growing up?

There were a lot of players, but especially Ronaldinho, Ronaldo and Zidane. I think one of my first memories of football is the World Cup of 1998, Brazil lost against France. It was a sad day for us, but it’s my first memory.

Those players that you mentioned, they’ve got spark to them. What was it about them that caught your eye?

I think Ronaldinho is a genius. I like these kind of players that dribble, that make the football look beautiful. And Zidane was so elegant too. Ronaldo, for me, was a killer; a striker who has everything. He has too much talent. So those three for me were the best.

You’ve done so much between then as a child through to now as an accomplished player. Did you ever get any advice when you were growing up that stayed with you? 

I think the best advice I ever got was kind of obvious: never give up. Work hard every day and give your best every day. It doesn’t matter the training session or the game. And also to believe in God and to believe in yourself. Always.

What’s the transition from Paris to London been like for you?

Two beautiful cities, it’s not been difficult. I loved Paris, and I’m loving London as well. Big cities and a lot of Brazilian restaurants. I like those kind of places that have a lot going on but they also have places I can enjoy life with my family.

We’ve seen the videos of you taking your family onto the pitch after games - you can see how much they mean to you. Having them support you, does that drive you on?

My family is my motivation now. When I’m training or in a match, I always think about the example I’m setting for them and how we can share the success we achieve. I want to give them a good example and I want them to be proud of me, so that’s the best motivation for me. 

I’m playing in an unbelievable stadium with my son and my wife watching me. In Brazil we say there is no price for this moment – you cannot pay for this."

Playing on the pitch must come with a rush of adrenaline – the crowd, the noise, everything like that. What’s it like when you get back in your car after a big game?

Each game is different. When I am on the pitch I always try to enjoy the game, to enjoy the opportunity, because like I said earlier, football is my life. It doesn’t matter what the game is, I want to enjoy, I want to score, I want to dribble, I want to be happy on the pitch and to show everyone the passion that I have. 

How do you unwind after a game, when you get in the car? What music goes on?

I like music a lot. It’s important for me. Whether we win or lose, I always look for something that keeps me calm but also motivates me. I like music with energy but I also like music that helps me relax.

We’ve seen on Instagram that you went to Edinburgh on a trip to see the city. Do you like travelling and experiencing different cultures?

Yes, when I have time! I like to go to new places and new countries, new cities, especially in the holidays. Me and my wife we like to travel and to stay maybe for five days or a week in a new place. But we love to stay at home with friends too, having barbecues and playing cards.

Your move to the Premier League then, was that as much about the experience as it was a new challenge?

It was a big challenge and a new chapter of my life to play in the Premier League. For me it’s the best league in the world and it has also been a very good experience to play in a great stadium against great teams and great players. I am very very happy here.


Now that you’ve played in the Premier League, has it surprised you in any way compared with how you thought of it before?

Time goes quick, so each opportunity we need to enjoy. I had five years in Paris and I won a lot of things and I had a great moment. There were bad moments as well, but it’s normal in life. Now, I’m trying to enjoy this challenge here, and I’m looking to write my story with Spurs. The most important thing for me is to give my best every day. I’m happy that I have a lot of time, I’m still young, so I try to enjoy every day.

You come across as someone who thinks carefully about what they do. Whether that’s the pass you play on the pitch or the brands you work with. Why adidas as your brand?

I love adidas. I love the guys who work for adidas and I love the shoes and the product. For me it’s a pleasure to be part of this family. They have a great history with some amazing players.

You went to their HQ recently. How was the experience?

I enjoyed that experience a lot, it’s a massive place and I like getting a look behind the scenes. I’d like to go back there more. I’m a fan of sneakers and things like that so to go somewhere with such history and see where all the work is done was very special.

Let's talk about the Champions League last season and in particular the way you helped Spurs get to the final - what a performance…

It was an unbelievable dream. To score three goals in the semi-final of the Champions League, it was amazing. It was always my dream to play a Champions League final, but I couldn’t imagine that it would be like it was. I am so happy to have that memory. I hope to do more and it’s made me hungrier. I want to make my history and legacy even bigger - I want to win these trophies, not only play in the games. 

How much do you live to create those memories that you dreamed of as a child?

For me it was like yesterday – I was a child thinking about being a professional player and now I’m playing in the Premier League and I scored three goals in the Champions League semi-final, I’m playing in an unbelievable stadium with my son and my wife watching me. In Brazil we say there is no price for this moment – you cannot pay for this. When my son grows up and watches videos of his Dad, hopefully he’ll be happy and proud. That’s my objective, to be an example to my son, my wife and my family.


What’s the one memory that you’d like to create this season?

I’d like to do the same as last year, except win the Champions League this time.

How much love do you still have for football?

First of all, at home I watch every game. It doesn’t matter if it’s second division. I watch every game because I love football. If you asked me to play football now, I would say let’s go! I love this game.

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